Who Funds Breitbart?
In 2011 Breitbart received at least $10 million in funding from hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer. Mercer has historically been an active member and large contributor at Koch’s secretive donor seminars, donating at least $2.5 million to Koch’s Freedom Partners Action Fund in 2014. The Mercers support a number of liberatarian and climate denial think tanks. Between 2003 and 2010 the Mercer Family Foundation spent more than $3.8 million on think tanks that fought against efforts to address climate change.
Breitbart News was launched in 2007 by conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart. Steve Bannon became the CEO in 2012, promising to make Breitbart into “the platform for the alt-right.” Under Bannon, the website launched the careers of a number of provocative campus speakers, including Milo Yiannopoulos and Ben Shapiro.
Known for his extreme libertarian views, the main backer of the website is Robert Mercer. Mercer believes that an individual’s wealth correlates with their value to society. As one colleague explained: “Bob believes that human beings have no inherent value other than how much money they make … If someone is on welfare they have negative value. If he earns a thousand times more than a schoolteacher, then he’s a thousand times more valuable.” Mercer not only funded Trump’s presidential campaign but also the UK’s pro-Brexit campaign and the data-mining company Cambridge Analytica, which engaged in voter manipulation during both elections.
SourceWatch, “Breitbart News Network”
Carole Cadwalladr, “Robert Mercer: The Big Data Billionaire Waging War on Mainstream Media,” The Guardian, February 26, 2017.
**Information on this page was originally published in: Free Speech and Koch Money: Manufacturing a Campus Culture War (with Ralph Wlson, Pluto Press, 2021)